Irish Catholic parish register entries were recorded in either English or Latin. Typically, Latin was used in the more rural, Irish-speaking parishes while English was used in urban districts. Irish was never used in the registers. Place names and surnames were not translated but first names were.
In most cases, the Latin versions are obvious enough, but there are a handful of names that may throw you.
Translating the Latin words is not difficult because they tend to follow the same format, over and over. So the basic vocabulary and format below should help prime you for most of what you may encounter.
A typical full form Latin entry in a Roman Catholic baptism register would read: Baptisavi Michaeli, filium legitimum Patricus Daly et Ellena Mahony de Courtmacsherry. Sponsoribus Johannes Doyle, Marian Shea.
This might be abbreviated to Bapt Michaeli, fl Patricus Daly et Ellena Mahony, Courtmshry. Sp John Doyle, Marian Shea.
The translation is: I baptised Michael, legitimate son of Patrick Daly and Ellen Driscoll of Courtmacsherry. Godparents John Doyle and Mary Shea.
A typical full form Latin entry in a Roman Catholic marriage register would read: In matrimonium conjunxi sunt Cornelius Crowley et Honoria Hayes, de Garranes. Testimonium: Thaddeus Buckley, Brigidam Lorigan.
The abbreviated version might read: Mat con Cornelius Crowley, Honoria Hayes, Garranes. Thad Buckley, Brigidam Lorigan.
The translation is: Cornelius Crowley and Nora Hayes of Garranes were joined in matrimony. Witnesses Tim Buckley and Bridget Lorigan.
Alias: Otherwise known as (usually used before a woman's maiden name)
Decessit/Defuit: He/she died/departed
Deus Tecum: May God be with you (singular)
Deus Vobiscum: May God be with you (plural)
Dum invincem rursus occurremus: Until we meet again
Ecce Agnus Dei: Behold the lamb of God
Fecit: Made by
Gloria in Excelsis Deo: Glory to God in the highest
Hic jacet (or iacet) sepultus: Here lies buried
IHS: Jesus Christ (an abbreviation of the Latin translation of the Greek for Jesus)
In hoc signo vinces: In this sign you will conquer
In Memoriam: In memory of
In Paim Memoriam: In loving memory of
Memoriae Sacrum: Sacred to the memory of
Mors nos non disiungit: Death does not part us
Requiescat in pace (RIP): May he/she rest in peace
Requiescant in Pace (RIP): May they rest in peace